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Long Way Home

College graduate trades a flight home for an adventure on two wheels.

28,488 km (17,701 miles) over 293 days from May 28, 2007 to March 15, 2008

Topic: Bicycle Touring  
Categories: Tour diaries, Equipment lists, Road bikes, 6-12 months, First tour, World
Locales: North America, United States, Europe, Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Middle East, Iran, Asia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia
Years: 2007, 2008


Copyright © 2007-2014 By Tzuo Hann Law - (contact)

Status: Completed Apr 2008Featured Journal #261
Last update: Saturday October 26, 2013 08:20 (US/Pacific) (edited Sat 26 Oct 2013 08:20 (US/Pacific))
1,179,836 hits since April 12, 2007 (hitcounts updated nightly)
1,803 pics

Click here to see this page

Table of Contents

eBook: Available on Kindle. Proceeds to charity.

Travel Map: Where did Tzuo Hann go?

The Pre Game: Stuff before it all started

      Jobless, out of school, and wanting an adventure.: The why, hows and more whys
      Equipment List: My Rig and Gear
      Training and Trying to Graduate: Its optional (Both)
      One more day before it starts: It might be my biggest mistake ever... but who cares

USA: Sea to Shining Sea

California: First few days
      Day 0 - New Jersey to Ventura: Getting to the starting point
      Day 1 - to Valencia: Here I goes
      Day 2 - to Lake Los Angeles: Nearly ran out of water... go hikers!
      Day 3 - to Barstow: Single digit IQ in action!
      Day 4 - to Amboy: Desert, desert and more desert.
      Day 5 - Amboy to Needles: Tzuo 1 - California 0
Arizona: Cooling down real quick. From desert to plains.
      Day 6 - to Oatman: Half day, 2000+ ft climb
      Day 7 - to Truxton: A climb so pretty, it didn't feel like one.
      Day 8 - to Williams: Good bye 66 - America's Main/Mother/Momma Road
      Day 9 - to Desert View: Grand Canyon and Good People
      Day 10 - to Tsegi: Navajo Nation and CrazyCrossWindz
      Day 11 - to Four Corners: Bye bye Arizona
Colorado: Climb every mountain...
      Day 12 - San Juan Natl Forest: Into the mountains
      Day 13 - to Ridgeway: Serious climbing and whizzing downhills
      Day 14 - to Sapinero: Bad tummy ach and a rather repulsive theory as to why it occured. Be warned.
      Day 15 - to Poncha Springs: Over the Continental Divide
      Day 16 - to Pueblo West: First day of rain... learnin to deal with it.
      Day 17 - to Haswell: GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Kansas: Flatter than stale beer
      Day 18 - to Leoti: The stinks from em cows...
      Day 19 - to Alexander: Open plains of emotions, truly.
      Day 20 - to Lyons: OMG - The winds just never stop...
      Day 21 - to Newton: Happy Fathers Day!
      Day 22 - to Lake Toronto: First night in a campground
      Day 23 - to Pittsburg: Last day in Dorothyland... Whew
Missouri: Who let the dogs out?
      Day 24 - to Ash Grove: I am a brave, brave soul...
      Day 25 - to Houston: A dog the size of a bear and a dog of a driver
      Day 26 - to Lesterville: Up and down some serious Ozarks.
      Day 27 - to Chester: Out of Missouri and damn I'm glad!
Illinois: A short sweet ride
      Day 28 - to Sandburn: 4 weeks and still going strong
Kentucky: More dogs.... but man, folks are nice here.
      Day 29 - to Sebree: Into Kentucky!
      Day 30 - to Big Clifty: More nice people
      Day 31 - to Danville: Wrong turn in road but it ends up shorter... I'm just ridin' the luck
      Day 32 - to Buckhorn: Into the mountains again
      Day 33 - to Elkhorn City: Done with Kentucky
Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC: The homerun stretch
      Day 34 - to Tazewell: Ugly, ugly incident
      Day 35 - to Roanoke: To the Blue Ridge
      Day 36 - to Waynesboro: A day along the Blue Ridge Parkway
      Day 37 - to Front Royal: Along Skyline Drive
      Day 38 - to Washington DC: Fireworks!!! I made it!
Closing thoughts on USA and Europe Preparation
Good bye America: Across the Atlantic

Europe: An Occidental Adventure

Europe Pregame: Getting things put together and chilling out in Dublin.
Ireland: Sing a song for Ireland
      Day 39 - Dublin to Kilkenny: Journey on...
      Day 40 - to Mitchelstown: Winds dammit!
      Day 41 - to Moll's Gap: My saint finally stumbles out of the pub.
      Day 42 - to Kells: Kerry around the Ring
      Day 43 - to Lisdoonvarna: Long day and nice folks at the end of it.
      Day 44 - to Galway: Friends!
      Day 45 - to Granard: Tailwinds at last!
      Day 46 - to Larne: A giant step to the Irish Sea.
United Kingdom: Got bottle?
      Day 47 - to Glasgow: Sugar, spice and everything nice.
      Day 48 - to Dolermo: A (failed) attempt to actually cook.
      Day 49 - to Moffat: A bright start and an ugly finish.
      Day 50 - to Shap Summit: Another sleepless night
      Day 51 - to Preston and taking Zero Day #1: Much needed break and learnings
      Day 52 - to Pinvin: Another distance record.
      Day 53 - to Wembley: I really am sick, dammit.
      Zero Days #2 and #3 - Visiting London: Getting over sickness and some interesting discoveries.
      Day 54 - to Stanway: From Pa's Friend to Ma's Cousin
Nederland: Flat Lands!
      Day 55 - to Rotterdam: English, where art thou?
      Day 56 - to Honswijk: Ripped? I don't know...
Deutschland: Achtung!
      Day 57 - to Krefeld: I need to look like I don't know Deutsch
      Day 58 - to Niederkassel: Equipment failure lessons
      Day 59 - to Flonheim: The Rhine and getting lost in vines
      Day 60 - to Karlsruhe and Zero Day #4: A shower long due.
      Day 61 - to Esslingen: To more Malaysian hosts
      Day 62 - to Ulm: A cycle buddy and going off road.
      Day 63 - to Petersworth: Day out in Ulm
      Day 64 - to Neustadt: Following the Danube too closely
      Day 65 - to Passau: Presenting German learnings
Austria: Play me a symphony
      Day 66 - to Mitterkirchen: Extreme offroading...
      Day 67 - to Wein: Couchsurfing awesomeness
      Zero Days #5 and #6 - Visa saga in Vienna: Taken for a Viennese waltz.
      Day 68 - to Bratislava: Moving on with little done.
Slovakia: Into the 'Eastern Bloc'
      Day 69 - to Budapest: An unexpected welcomed stop
Hungary: Is this East, West or Central Europe?
      Day 70 - to Budapest Outskirts: Getting out of Pest
      Day 71 - to Kiszombor: Finding hosts at a village pub
Romania: Of Dragons and Dracula
      Day 72 - to Lugoj: Dracula trys to suck cash but I had garlic for breakfast.
      Day 73 - to Orsova: Roads... or the lack thereof
      Day 74 - to Rojeste: More depressing poverty
Bulgaria: Cyrillic 101
      Day 75 - to Lovech: Wet, wet, wet
      Day 76 - to Badeshte: Up and over the Stara Planina
      Day 77 - to Babaeski: Out of Jesus' lands, into Mohammad's
Turkey: Gateway to Asia
      Day 78 - to Uskudar: (Sub)Continent #2: Mission Accomplished
Closing thoughts on Europe

Wutever Turkey is, the Middle East and Central Asia: Retracing the Silk Road

Visiting Istanbul: Bleeding cash and gettıng visas.
Equipment Preparation for Upcoming Weather: Please comment and save my life, its my first trip after all.
Turkey: Into Asia
      Day 79 - Uskudar to Baykoz: WHAT A DAY!
      Day 80 - to Sile: From the Bhoporus to the Black Sea
      Day 81 - to Agva: The analyst fights off the take the bus urge. Restecp
      Day 82 - to Akçaova: The analyst joins me for a day at the office.
      Day 83 - to Karasu: The analyst and his Advil earns my respect.
      Day 84 - to Bolu: From the sea to the mountains
      Day 85 - to Ankara: To visa problems again
      Zero Days #7, #8 and #9: Visas dammit
      Day 86 - to Buyukyagli: Outta the city mess thing and the bike survives a scare.
      Day 87 - to Dogankent: Repairs and spares
      Day 88 - to Kavak: ^%%+%^&'/ WINDS! Grrrrrrrrr
      Day 89 - to Yarhisar: Slow slow day.
      Day 90 - to Sakaltutan Pass: 'Go Quick, Wolves Here'
      Day 91 - to Mercan: Birthday riding.
      Day 92 - to Pasinler: Grumpy Tzuo Hann on a bike.
      Day 93 - to Agri: Breaking the taboo : HOTEL!
      Day 94 - to Ipek Pass: Kurdish village
      Day 95 - to Maku: Out of Turkey
Iran: Holdyafyah, I'm going in.
      Day 96 - to Poldasht: Instant karma
      Day 97 - to Kharvana: Mad, mad rush.
      Day 98 - to Ardabil: Tiredness, trucks, and taxi.
      Day 99 - to Anzali: Stomach and me sit down to chat.
      Day 100 - to Nur: Stomach invites whats downstream to the conversation.
      Day 101 - to QaemShar: Annoying Old Man
      Day 102 - to Bandar Tokaman: Asians!
      Day 103 - to Gonbad-E-Kavus: Losing the phone
      Day 104 - to Robat E Qurah Bil (middle of nowhere, really): Wildboar!
      Day 105 - to Bojnurd: Boring, lonely cycling
      Day 106 - to Faruj: Smoking mud hut
      Day 107 - to Marshad: Holy Precinct
      Zero Days #10, #11, #12, #13, #14 and #15: The final visa and new friends
      Day 108 - to Sarakhs: To the border, finally
Turkmenistan: Halk, Watan, Keldai
      Day 109 - to Mary: Keldailand
      Day 110 - to Karakorum Desert: Snakes for bedfellows
      Day 111 - to Farab: A night in no man's land
Uzbekistan: Bleeding Some Soms
      Day 112 - to Bukhara: Getting ripped
      Day 113 - to Kharmano: Stoned by a GIRL!
      Day 114 - to Samarkand: Too much vodka
      Day 115 - to Bosh Bolu: T-boning a car
      Day 116 - to Sardaba: Stop thief
      Day 117 - to Tashkent: Kind hearted compatriots
      Zero Day #16: Good food and rest
      Day 118 - to Angren: Its getting cold
      Day 119 - to Danghara: Meeting Haruki
      Day 120 - to Sharikhan: A day in the Ferghana Valley
      Day 121 - to Osh: Osh by Gosh (Yeah, its stolen from Heather's)
Kyrgyzstan: Too many consonants
      Zero Day #17: Fun at the Scotts'
      Day 122 - to Chyrchyk Pass: To bed at 2400m, a little chilly
      Day 123 - to Kolduk: To bed at 2500m, its getting to the bone
      Day 124 - to Sary Tash: To bed at 3400m AND DAMN IT WAS COLD
      Day 125 - to Irkeshtam: To bed at 2900m, at a Chinese workers' camp
Closing thoughts on Leg 3

中国, China: Roots

新疆,Xinjiang: The salad bowl
      Day 126 - 伊尔克什坦, Irkeshtam to 康苏,Kansu: into China!
      Day 127 - to 喀什,Kashgar: Meeting other travellers
      Zero Day #18: A long walkabout
      Day 128 - to 阿图什,Artux: Pork!
      Day 129 - to Middle of Nowhere: Between the Tien Shan and the Taklamakan
      Day 130 - to Middle of Nowhere: The Old Man arrives in China {Pa's journal entries start here}
      Day 131 - to 啊克苏,Aksu: Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnngggg
      Day 132 - to Middle of Nowhere: A night amongst chilli peppers
      Day 133 - to 新和, Xinhe: M(boring)
      Day 134 - to 库车,Kuqa: Another bland, boring, day
      Day 135 - to Middle of Nowhere: Luck came a begging, I had cash
      Day 136 - to 库尓勒, Korla: Too much pee
      Day 137 - to Middle of Nowhere: Battling traffic
      Day 138 - to 库米什,Kumux: A lousy night on a dusty floor
      Day 139 - to 吐鲁番,Turfan: This Old Man

      Reflecting on the Charity: Thoughts and thanks

      Zero Day #19: Relaxing with The Old Man in Turpan
      Day 140 - to Middle of Nowhere: Complains at camp
      Day 141 - to 鄯善,Shanshan: He said "You are right!"
      Day 142 - to Middle of Nowhere: Young again (Pa, not me)
      Day 143 - to Middle of Nowhere: Winds!
      Day 144 - to 红山口, Hongshankou: Fruity beers after a short day
      Day 145 - to 一碗泉,Yiwanquan: 18km uphill...
      Day 146 - to 哈密, Hami: Not bad for the old guy
      Zero Day #20: A rest day in Hami
      Day 147 - to Middle of Nowhere: Burning down the tent
      Day 148 - to 木头井子,Mutoujingzi: Saved by Chinese workers
      Day 149 - 星星峡, Xingxingxia: Out of Xinjiang
甘肃,Gansu: China proper
      Day 150 - to 柳园, Liuyuan: Just another day of riding
      Day 151 - to 瓜州, Guazhou: Losing it to the winds
      Day 152 - to 双塔,Shuangta: Longing for the motorway
      Day 153 - to 玉门,Yumen: Pa beats the winds... at a cost
      Zero Day #21: Rest
      Day 154 - to 嘉峪关,Jiayuguan: A last day of riding for the old guy
      Zero Day #22: Going ultralite
      Day 155: to 元山子, Yuanshanzi: Con Te Partiro {Pa's journal entries end here}
      Day 156: to 張掖,Zhangye: Sick, cold, and terribly tired
      Day 157: to 山丹, Shandan: Sick, really sick.
      Zero Day #23: Getting slightly better
      Day 158 - to 水泉子,Shuiquanzi: The good and the fugly
      Day 159 - to 武威,Wuwei: Annoying old man
      Day 160 - to 安远, Anyuan: Boors for bedfellows
      Day 161 - to 永登,Yongdeng: One last highish pass
      Day 162 - to 兰州,Lanzhou: 黄河!
      Day 163 - to 定西,Dingxi: Help me will ya!
      Day 164 - to 秦安, Qinan: 20000!
      Day 165 - to 吴?, Wu (some word I wrote down wrong): Still hills
陝西,Shanxi: Ancient lands
      Day 166 - to 宝鸡, Baoji: Out of them hills!
      Day 167 - to 西安,Xian: Fog gifts me the expressway.
      Day 168 - to 商州,Shangzhou: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
      Day 169 - to 商南,Shangnan: One royal mess
河南,Henan: Henan in a cloud
      Day 170 - to 镇平,Zhenping: Christmas in China
      Day 171 - to 双河,Shuanghe: Into a scooter
      Day 172 - to 信阳, Xinyang: Enjoying the National Roads
      Day 173 - to 黎集, Liji: For the want of a loo, pooper, crapper, potty, whatever you call it
安徽,Anhui: The Home Province of THE HU
      Day 174 - to 合肥, Hefei: The worse day
      Day 175 - to 全椒,Quanjiao: Misery, misery
江苏, Jiangsu: Sister Act
      Day 176 - to 南京,Nanjing: Nanjing for New Year's
      Zero Days #24 - #27: Getting things done.
      Day 177 - to 常州, Changzhou: Blah, blah, blah
      Day 178 - to 苏州, Suzhou: Ho liau hosts.
      Zero Day #28: Majulah
浙江,Zhejiang: The sweetest roads
      Day 179 - to 桐乡, Tongxiang: Being a 'hantu'
      Day 180 - to 杭州, Hangzhou: 西湖 in a mist
      Zero Day #29: Visiting a museum and just being lazy
      Day 181 - to 绍兴,Shaoxing: Hurry, hurry
      Day 182 - to 新昌,Xinchang: Its warming up :)
      Day 183 - to 台州,Taizhou: Dear grandpas...
      Day 184 - to 温州, Wenzhou: PACIFIC!
福建,Fujian: Ancestral home
      Day 185 - to 管阳, Guanyang: In fields of tea
      Day 186 - to 宁德, Ningde: Fear at night
      Day 187 - to 福州, Fuzhou: A friendly bike shop
      Day 188 - to 青口站, Qingkouzhan: Getting out of Fuzhou
      Day 189 - to 泉州,Quanzhou: Undressing
      Day 190 - to 漳州,Zhangzhou: The 20RMB dilemma
广东,Guangdong: Westwards
      Day 191 - to 汕头,Shantao: Speaking local
      Day 192 - to 陆丰,Lufeng: Screwed steerer
      Day 193: to 鲘门,Houmen: The last of the wheel dunks.
      Day 194 - to 惠州,Huizhou: A drizzlin'
      Day 194 - to 广州,Guangzhou: A cold, rainy day.
      Zero Days #30 - #31: Keeping things real
      Day 195 - to 佛山,Foshan: Madness
      Day 196 - to 恩平, Enping: Wet
      Day 197 - to 电城, Diancheng: Wetter
      Day 198 - to 遂溪, Suixi: Dry! Its a miracle.
广西, Guangxi: Out of China
      Day 199 - to 合浦, Hepu: Le Idiot du Bike
      Day 200 - to Mongcai (Viet Nam): Damn, I'm fast!
Closing thoughts on China

South East Asia: Endless Summer

Viet Nam: The Domino Debacle
      Day 201 - Mong Cai to Hai Ninh: Easing into SEA
      Day 202 - to Cam Pha: Crowded
      Day 203 - to Vinh Bao: Being human
      Day 204 - to Nam Dinh: Twists
      Day 205 - to Ninh Binh: Chinese New Year
      Day 206 - to Quynh Lu'u: Thieving :(
      Day 207 - to Hong Linh: Inspired
Lao: Back in Time
      Day 208 - to Lak Sao: Over the Annam
      Day 209 - to Gommalath: Bumpity bumpity
Thailand: So Coup - Krup
      Day 210 - to Ban Non Chom Phu: Wat?!?
      Day 211 - to Sakhon Nakhon: Smiling all day
      Day 212 - to Som Det: :-(
      Day 213 - to Mahasarakham: Just another day
      Day 214 - to Nong Song Hong: Lost
      Day 215 - to Noen Sung: Reading feverishly
      Day 216 - to Lam Tak Hong Lake: Expressway to Bangkok
      Day 217 - to Wang Noi: Wat The F!
      Day 218 - to Bangkok: Too much fun at Khosan
      Zero Days #32 - #36: Mine Country
      Zero Day #37: Getting screwed in Bangkok
      Day 219 - to Samut Sakhon: You can't say gay
      Day 220 - to Petchburi: Another day, another wat
      Day 221 - to Hua Hin: A raid on realism
      Day 222 - to Thap Sakae: Deserted beach
      Day 223 - to Chumpon: A lot before breakfast
      Day 224 - to Lang Suan: To the backroads
      Day 225 - to Tha Chana: Short day
      Day 226 - to Kanchanadit: Poor George
      Day 227 - to Tha Sala: Into the monsoon
      Day 228 - to Nakhon Si Thammarat: 'Stealth' camping
      Day 229 - to Ranot: A win and a loss
      Day 230 - to Ashitti Beach: Just in time
      Day 231 - to Hat Yai: The 'last' day
      Day 232 - to Padang Besar: A sneak peak of Malaysia
      Zero Day #38: People and more people
Malaysia: Tanahairku
      Day 1 - to Alor Setar: Our house, our ride
      Day 2 - to Kulim: A little bit of this, a little bit of that
      Day 3 - to Taiping: Home

The After Party: More other stuff

      Scoreboard: Comparing Countries
      The Books: How I paid for it
      Equipment Review: What stood up, what didn't
      Tips and tricks: A neophyte's notebook

Summary: The Whole Shebang

Charity is over: $$$

In graduate school...

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